European Holiday Reviews

European Holiday Reviews

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Madeira 3rd - 9th July 2008...

White Waters is a stunningly beautiful, family-run hotel just 5 minutes by taxi from Funchal airport. Our room looked like it’d never had anyone stay there before us (it was spotlessly clean). We were welcomed as if we were old friends, and treated like royalty throughout our stay. Nothing was too much trouble. The air-conditioning was not working during our stay, and when I asked to borrow a fan for the room the owner got in his car and went to an electrical shop, where he bought a top-of-the-range fan for us to use (he was constantly apologising while he was putting it together for us in the lobby).

Our small balcony overlooked the sea (stunning views) which was about a one-minute walk away! Bear in mind that Madeira is a volcanic island, and the ‘pebbles’ on the beach are bigger than hen’s eggs! There are wooden pallets on the beach for people to sit on, underneath parasols made from palm leaves. There IS a sandy beach further up the coast, but it’s black sand (and down an incredibly steep hill).

Breakfasts were a choice of cereals, bread, meats, cheeses with hot & cold drinks. This was self-service in the hotel’s wonderful bar/restaurant.

The bathroom had a bath, shower, bidet, toilet and sink and we were supplied with huge white fluffy towels (and toilet paper).

Outside our room was a communal lounge area, with sofas and magazines.

The bedroom had a comfy king-size bed! There was plenty of storage space for clothes

There is a separate tea room on site, but we didn’t have time to enjoy it (it looked lovely).

There is also a souvenir shop in reception, which was very useful.

The rooftop terrace offers spectacular views. There are sun-loungers available for those wanting to top up their tan.

The only thing I can think of that might be a problem for some travellers is the lack of a computer, however the entire island has Wifi, so if you have your own pc you can surf 24/7. (There didn’t seem to be any internet cafĂ©’s in Machico, however there might’ve been in Funchal).

I suspect that if anyone was desperate to send an email, the hotel owners would be able to sort out something (I’ve never met people so eager to please before).

We had a slight niggle on the Sunday. The receptionist told us that there were regular buses to Funchal and that everything would be open once we got there, however, the buses definitely weren’t regular and many places were closed. This led to disappointment (and an expensive taxi back to Machico). If you are thinking of doing things in Madeira, I’d be inclined to advise that you don’t make any grand plans for Sundays.

Public transport is fairly useable, and taxis are plentiful, however you may want to hire a car if you want to explore the Island fully.

Within a 2 minute walk of White Waters are numerous fantastic restaurants, offering everything from freshly baked pizzas to crispy salads.

Shops do tend to close for siesta (1-3pm) but often open late to compensate. Machico doesn’t seem to have been struck by tacky tourism, so there’s a distinct lack of places to buy cheap & nasty junk (a good thing in my opinion).

There’s lots of tiny lizards running about outside in the morning (before it gets too hot). I loved them but they may not be to everyone’s liking.

Footnote: Since we visited Machico there has been a brand new man-made, sandy beach created a few hundred yards away from White Waters Hotel.

Here are more photos of our trip:

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